tv U.S. Senate CSPAN December 17, 2010 5:00pm-7:00pm EST
defense secretary gates, admiral mullen, general patrick o'reilly, who is in charge of our missle defense program, have all testified the treaty does nothing to impede our missle defense plans. the resolution ratification has explicitly reemphasized this in multiple ways. some commentators have expressed, as have some senators, concern that the treaty's preamble, notes and interrelationship between strategic offense and strategic defense. the preamble language does not permit rights nor impose obligations. it cannot be used to create an obligation under the treaty. and the text in question stating a truism of strategic planning that an interrelationship exists between stratigic offense and stratigic defense. as a matter of fact, it always has and does exist.
we have argued that among ourselves in terms of our own defense and so have russians as well as our colloquy with the russians. critics have also worried that the treaty's about converting redueses our missile defense option but as we statuted general o'reilly said it would not be in our own benefit to pursue because the cost is estimated $19 million more than building a modern new one. we would say simply the bush administration converted the five icbm test silos at vandenburg for missile defense interceptors and these have been grand fearndle under the new start treaty. but beyond this, every single program advocated during the bush and obama administrations has involved construction of new silos dedicated to defense on land, exactly what the new start treaty permits.
general o'reilly said that the u.s. embrace of silo conversions would be -- quote -- "a tragic set back." end of quote for our missile defense program. addressing whether there woulding utility in converting any slbm launch tube to a launch for offensive missile, general chilton says "the missile tubes that we have are valuable in the stheans they provide the sphree -- in the sense that they provide the strategic deterrent. i would not want to trade an slbm for a single missile defense interceptor. essentially, our military commanders are saying that converting silos to missile defense purposes would never make sense for our efforts to build the best missile defense possible. another argument concerning missile defense centers on russia's unilateral statement upon signature of new start
which expressed its right to withdraw from the treaty if there is an expansion of u.s. missile defense programs. unilateral statements are routine to arms control treaties and do not alter the legal rights and obligations of the parties of the treaty. moscow issued a similar statement concerning the start i treaty, implying that its obligations were conditioned upon u.s. compliance with the a.b.m. treaty. yet russia did not in fact withdraw from start i when the united states did withdraw from the a.b.m. treaty in 2001. nor did it withdraw when we subsequently deployed missile defense interceptors in california and alaska, nor did it withdraw when we announced plans for missile defenses in poland and the czech republic.
russia's unilateral statement does nothing to contribute to its right to withdraw from the treaty. that right, which we also possess, is standard in all recent arms control treaties and most treaties considered throughout united states history. some senators have not fully understood this history, at least in my judgment, when directlying on their -- dwelling on their ramifications of the in particular, some senators appear to argue that phase iv would involve thes standard phase 3 block 2-b which senators presume could have the capability to threaten russian missiles. consequently, they threaten that russia may threaten deployment of this defensive missile which is being developed to meet the threat of a more capable iranian missile.
they claim such a threat might delay or ink hibit the new defensive missiles' deployment. in fact, we have learned in scores of hearings and classified briefings that our military went to great length to show that no missile interceptor under deployment could neutralize russian strategic forces. lieutenant general o'reilly stated in june before our foreign relations committee, and i quote, "i have briefed russian first of all, in moscow. i went through the details of how four phases of the phased dappive approach, especially phase vi, and while the missiles that we have selected as interceptors in phase iv provide a defense, they are not of the size or have the long range to be able to reach russian missile defense fields and as a very verifiable property of these
missiles given their size and the russian expertise and understanding of what the missiles' capabilities will be, that they could not reach their strategic fields." no witnesses argued that the united states under this or any future administration that will come to power under the duration of the treaty will be capable of deploying missile defenses of the kind that could reliably, economic lirgs and persuasively defeat massive strategic missile attacks on the united states of america wherein thousands of warheads are reined down upon us. mr. president, this is a technical reality and not a political choice. in the foreign relations commit, the resolution of ramification approved reaffirms that the new start treaty will in no way inhibit our missile defenses. it contains anding to be included in the instrument of ratification that the new start treaty imposes no limitations on
the deployment of u.s. missile defenses other than the requirement to refrain from converting offensive missile launchers. it also states that russia's april 2010 unilateral statement on the missile defense does not impose any legal obligations on the united states and that any further limitations would require treaty amendments subject to senate advice and consent. consistent with the missile defense act of 1999, it also declares that a it is u.s. poliy to deply a missile defense cams soon as technologically possible and that is the paramount obligation of the dwriews defend its people, its armed forces, allies against nuclear attack to the best of our afnlt the committee's resolution also states the senate expects the executive branch to provide regular briefings on missile against defense issues related
to the treaty and on united states-russian missile defense dialogue and cooperation. the resolution also calls for briefings before and after each meeting of the bilateral consultaive commission. the executive branch has committed to upholding these hearings. now, mr. president, in a revealing moment before the senate foreign relations committee hearings on the treaty, secretary gates testified -- and i quote -- "the russians have hated missile defense ever since these strategic arms talks began in 1969 because we can afford it and they can't, and we're going to be able to build a good one and they probably aren't, and they don't want to devote the resources to it, so they try to stop us from doing it. this treaty doesn't accomplish that for them.
there are no limits on us." end of quote from secretary gates. i would paraphrase the secretary's blunt comments by saying simply that our negotiators won on missile defense. if indeed a russian objective in this treaty was to limit united states missile defense, the russians failed, as the defense secretary asserts. does anyone really believe that russian negotiating ambitions were fulfilled by nonbinding preamble language on the relationship between offense and defense capabilities or by a unilateral russian statement with no legal force or by a prohibition on converting silos, which cost more than building new ones? these are toothless, fig leaf provisions that do nothing to constraint us. moreover, as outlined, our
resolution of ratification states explicitly in multiple ways that we have no intention of being constrained. our government is involved heavily in missile defense, strong bipartisan majorities in congress favor pursuing current missile defense plans. there is no reason to assume that this will change. but the russians are left with on missile defense is unrealized -- unrealized ambitions. at the end of any treaty negotiation tbeen any two countries there are always unrelated ambitions left on the table by both sides. this has been true throughout diplomatic history. the russians might want all sorts of things from us, but that does not mean they are going to get them. if we can strain -- if we constrain ourselves from signing a treaty that is in our own interest on the basis of unrealized russian ambitions, we're showing no confidence in the ability of our own democracy to make critical decisions in
the future. we'd be saying we have to live with the diminished security environment that would result from the end of start inspections because we fear the russians might try in the future to limit missile defense. let us be absolutely clear: the president of the united states, the united states congress, the executive branch agencies on behalf of the american people control our destiny on missile defense. the russians continue to argue and maneuver all they want on this issue, but there is nothing in the treaty that says we have to pay any attention to them. therefore, mr. president, i would say, first and foremost, fundamentally, if we amend the treaty text, the fret is gone. mr. president, that does relate to a second argument that we may have later on with regard to verification. we have all pointed out that for
over a year, since december 5, 2009, we have not had verification in russia. many of us feel that's very important, there may be arguments on what the treaty provides in verification, but if there is no treaty and floss verification, those arguments are not particularly germane today. instead, the best course for the united states is to make clear we will pursue our missile defense plans whether russia decides now or in the future not to be a party to the new start treaty and that russian threats to withdraw from the treaty will accordingly have no impact on our missile defense plans. just as we were not deterred from withdrawing from the a.b.m. treaty by russian threats that such a withdrawal might prompt them to pull out of start i, russian threats with regard to new start should not deter us from pursuing our new missile defense plans.
the resolution of ratification to the new start treaty recommits the united states to this force, contains an understanding to be included in the instrument of ratification, the new start treaty imposes no limitations on deployment of u.s. missile defenses other than the requirement to confrain from converting pentagon missile launchers. it also states that russia's april 2010 unilateral statement on missile defense does not impose any legal obligations on the united states and any further limitations would require treaty amendments such to the senate's advice and consent. consistent with the missile defense act of 1999, it also declares u.s. policy to deploy an effective national missile defense system as soon as technologically possible and it is the paramount obligation of the united states to defend its people, its armed forces, its allies against nuclear attacks to the best of our ability. for all of these reasons, mr. president, i urge senators
to reject the amendment before us because it would kill the treaty, it would kill the opportunities that the treaty provides for us, and the reasons for doing it, it seems to me, that have been stated are very inadequate. i thank the chaimplet. a senator: mr. president? mr. kerry: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from massachusetts. mr. kerry: mr. president, i'm not going to -- i'm not going to keep the floor. session significance of been they're for a couple of hours. mr. kerry: and mr. president, i'm about to completely cover for the senator. senator kyl has been working with me. we want to make sure everybody gets a chance. i am going to try flock it in. this is coming to me from senator kyl. so i would like to ask unanimous consent that senator sessions be given 30 minutes; that following senator sessions, senator kirk have 15 minutes; that following him, senator dodd have 20 minutes; that following him,
senator graham from south carolina have 10 minutes; and then senator demint from south carolina have 15 minutes. mr. mccain: reserving the right to object, i think the waif it is that following senator sessions is senator graham and then senator kirk and demint, and senator kyl will also want time that is not specified at this time. and i would want time, but could i say to my friend there will be no more -- by unanimous consent there will be no more speakers from this side. mr. kerry: mr. president, i really appreciate that very, very much. mr. sessions: reserving the right to object, i might -- i would not be able to finish my full remarks on this tonight. i mean, i could later tonight at the end of that, in my 30
minutes or tomorrow. what -- mr. kerry: mr. president? may i ask, does the senator -- does the senator from alabama mean he couldn't finish his floor remarks with respect to the fret or with respect to his amendment? session seghts amendment and would -- mr. sessions: the amendment would and would ask to be added on at the end or in the morning. mr. kerry: i think we'd like to -- i'd ask the unanimous consent as follows then: that at end of the list of speakers on the republican side, that senator sessions be granted the floor for what period of time? what period of time would the senator likes? mr. sessions: 30 minutes. mr. kerry: 30 minutes. so senator sessions will have two sessions, and we'll come back after that. mr. president, i would ask unanimous consent that i reserve 30 minutes after senator sessions and at that time, could
i ask, at that time, could we agree at that point to ask for the time for a vote perhaps tomorrow? mr. mccain: reserving the right to object. understanding -- i ask my friend from massachusetts, that senator kyl can be recognized at certain points after this and -- without a particular time agreement, if that's agreeable? a senatormr. pryor: would the sr from arizona restate the sequence of speakers on the republican side, please. mr. mccain: sessions for 30 minutes, graham for 10 minutes, kirk, 15, demint, 15, kyl and myself, unspecified time, and senator sessions an additional 30 minutes when it's appropria appropriate, understanding that there will be other side
speakers intervening in this sequence. mr. kerry: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from massachusetts. mr. kerry: mr. president, the other speakers on our side will be senator dodd, as stated -- he will come after senator graham -- and i am reserving time, such time as i will use, either after senator kyl or senator mccain. and can we -- i'd ask unanimous consent that that be the end of the speakers on this amendment and we will agree to set a time for a vote according to the leadership. the presiding officer: is there objection? mr. kyl: yes, mr. president, i object, and i hate to object. the -- what we were trying to do was simply get an order so people would know this evening roughly when they would be permitted to speak and what the order would be and how late we would go and so on. it is my understanding that we will not be on the treaty tomorrow but, rather, will be on two other matters that the leader has filed cloture on that would have some debate preceding
the two cloture votes. is that -- and, therefore, we would not be on the treaty tomorrow. and that when we go back on the treaty, obviously there may be something that needs to be said on the amendment before there would be a vote. mr. kerry: well, may i -- i really would like to try and lock it in if i can, mr. president. i ask -- i think this is a good effort and i think we can close this out in the following way. could we agree that this -- these -- this list will be the final list of speakers on this amendment with the allowance for five minutes on each side prior to the vote? mr. kyl: mr. president, i cannot agree with that. i simply don't know who else might want to speak to it. let me say it another way. with the amount of people that are speaking to this tonight and the fact that presumably we would come back on this sunday or monday, i would not anticipate personally, though it's not my amendment, that there would be a tremendous amount of debate left and it would not be our intention to
hold off a vote. however, there may be people that want to speak to it and i may want to have something. oh, and -- and i might have -- is that for tonight? mr. president, might i also say that senator thune would like to have 15 minutes tonight. so i -- i think that's the best way to -- and then perhaps we could talk off-line about -- mr. kerry: mr. president, that's fine. inning we're moving in the right direction -- i think we're moving in the right direction. i appreciate the effort of the senate. we'll get there. and so the agreement is -- is the chair clear on the names? senator sessions for 30 minutes. we request senator graham for 10 minutes following that. senator dodd for 20 minutes following that. senator kirk, 15 minutes following that. senator demint, 10 minutes -- 15 minutes. senator thune, 15 minutes. and then senator kyl and senator mccain, such time as they will use, and senator kerry, such
time as i choose to use. the presiding officer: is there objection? mr. mccain: and senator sessions for an additional -- mr. kerry: and senator sessions for an additional 30 minutes as such time between senator kyl and senator mccain as they would allow. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection, so ordered. the senator from alabama. mr. sessions: mr. president, i just want to say a couple of things. first, the treaty is important but it's -- mr. kerry: mr. president? i apologize and i apologize to the senator. the presiding officer: the senator from massachusetts. mr. kerry: the senator from new york has informed me that he would like five minutes somewhere in there and i would ask, according to the unanimous consent, that he be permitted to speak after senator kirk -- or, actually, if he could be permitted to speak for five minutes after senator sessions. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. the senator from alabama. mr. kerry: i thank the chair. mr. sessions: mr. president, a treaty of this nature is very important. i have served as chairman and
ranking member of the armed services strategic subcommittee which deals with missile defense and nuclear issues. i think we've dealt with it in more detail involving the budgets and that kind of thing than the foreign relations committee that is handling this bill. i would say it's very, very important to know how we got to the place we are. i think it's very important that we understand the significance of what's happening and the meaning of it. so it's going to take some time to do that. a lot of things that have been said this afternoon i don't think fully capture what's happened and i believe it ought to be corrected. and i would just say with regard to missile defense, i've been involved in that, in 14 years since i've been in the senate,
the strategic subcommittee of armed services, i think i know something about it, and i just have to disagree with my distinguished colleague, one of the most distinguishes members of this senate, that the russians did not win on missile defense. they've already won and have attempted to codify it in this treaty. it's a very serious matter. i feel like we're going to have to take some time to go through it and understand how we got to where we are. and i know it's late on this night but it's not because i want to be here. it's because this senate, under the majority, has not been able to move appropriations bills, pass other legislation and it's all now been jammed up after this election by this lame-duck
congress, and now we're not going to be rushed. we should not be rushed. and i would add one more thing. i cannot understand, and i'm deeply disappointed, that the russians have been so intransigent, hardheaded about this treaty and other relations with the united states. we had every reason to believe and expect and hope that we would be moving forward with russia today on a far more close and harmonious relationship. i cannot understand why, for example, the russians negotiated a treaty that gave less inspection capability to the united states than they had before. if they have nothing to hide, what's going on here? so i just am concerned about this. and finally, as to whether or not the treaty is essential, i
would note that we don't have a nuclear treaty with the u.k., england. we don't have one with france. we don't have one with china. we don't have one with india. we don't have one with pakistan. we don't have to have this treaty. if it's not a good treaty, we ought not to sign it. and mr. fife negotiated the sort treaty with the russians. he told them no o on the issue after issue, these very same issues, as he recently wrote in the "wall street journal" in an op-ed. and eventually they accepted the american position. and the very issues they raised that mr. fife and president bush rejected have been accepted as a part of this treaty. so, mr. president, let's talk about a few things that happened.
july of 2006, north korea tested a ballistic missile leading many, including myself, to the conclusion that the long-range missile threat against the united states from a rogue threat was imminent. this was constantly talked about on the floor of the senate, in committee, and particularly our subcommittee. a lot of people don't know we try to be responsive to threats. what is the threat? north korean threat not only increased in the intervening years but it is also compounded by the reality that iran has also developed a ballistic missile capability leading to a recent intelligence estimate that stated -- quote -- "with sufficient foreign assistance, iran could probably develop and test an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the united states by 2015.
by 2015. that's our intelligence estimate and we generally rely on what they tell us about what they estimate. so how this national security imperative, an agreement that we're dealing with today, is it an agreement that -- and that will reduce our nuclear arsenal while our enemies are building theirs up helpful to us? and the truth is, fundamentally, we spent weeks on this, the administration what its top people working on this, this treaty with russia that they -- the russians negotiated so sew fivociferously, because they really weren't concerned about it, frankly, whether they signed it or not, and they knew we wanted it worse than they did. and -- but why have we not been discussing what is really serious and that is iran and
north korea and their development of nuclear weapons, how they threaten their neighbors, how north korea has attacked south korea, our ally, by which -- with whom we are bound in a mutual defense trea treaty, attacked them and killed civilians and military personnel just a few weeks ago? these are the critical things that this nation ought to be dealing with. and we ought not to at this time be weakening our national missile defense system. in london in 2006, i made a talk in which i said i believe we'd reach a bipartisan consensus on going forward with a missile defense system for the united states and we were going to plant missile -- a missile defense system in poland with radar in the czech republic and that the budget had just been approved under the democratic
majority and that approved that and i thought that represented a bipartisan agreement to move forward with ground-based interceptors in europe. and it could have been done. it was expected originally to be capable of being deployed by 2013. because congress delayed and funding was not always there, it was set to be deployed by 2016. remember, the iranians are capable of hitting the united states, according to the national intelligence estimate, by 2015, and we were trying to be sure that we met that and we were going to use basically the same system that's utilized in alaska, utilized in california, we have in the ground right now to be deployed in europe. and many leftists in the united states and some in europe opposed that, and it was somewhat controversial.
i never understood why. the russians didn't like it. they didn't like it and -- but the czechs and the pols stood up, they faced down the people who objected and they were supportive of it. we were planning to go forward when president bush left office. that's the basic status. and in the -- it was in the summer of 2008 that the bush agreement actually signed agreements with poland and the czech republic to install the ten ground-based interceptors and a fixed radar base in the czech republic. during this same time, candidate obama said he would support a deployment of ballistic missiles that were -- quote -- "operationally effective." the day after the united states presidential election, november 5, 2008, president medvedev in russia stated that russia would deploy short-range missiles to
the russian enclave of ca kalin kaliningra did which the united states proceeded with their missile sites. it was a threat to the administration. then in typical russian activity, issue such a threat, testing the new president, then in her january 15, 2009, nomination hearing for under secretary of defense for policy, michelle floranoy was asked by chairman levin this -- quote -- "on the european missile defense issue, do you believe that it would be important to review the proposed european missile defense deployment in the broader security context of europe, including our relations with russia, the middle east, and to consider those deployments or that deployment as part of a larger consideration of ways in which to enhance ours and european security?"
ms. floronoy -- "yes, i do, sir. i think it's an issue for the upcoming defense review." that's our internal defense review. that question suggested we might not go forward without russia and we should consider how it would affect the relationship. within two weeks of that hearing, in late january of 2009, not long after the president had taken office, the russian media reported that moscow had canceled the deployment of these missiles in the kalinigrad area because the obama administration was not -- quote -- "pushing ahead" -- close quote -- with the third site. that was a pretty stunning thing. the third site had been a part of our strategic policy for
years. the president and secretary of state and president bush, they had worked hard to negotiate with the poles and the czechs, had gotten their agreement, they had publicly stood up, their leaders had, to defend this third site, and here the president is waffling right off the bat in the face of russian pressure. on february 7 at the annual vercunda conference, vice president biden stated -- quote -- "we will continue to develop missile defenses to counter growing iranian capability. we will do so in consultation with our nato allies and russia." well, russia didn't want this, they have never wanted this, but president bush didn't let it stop him. president obama's statement was followed by announcement from deputy secretary of defense william lynn and vice chairman
of the joint chiefs vincent cartwright in 2009, in the summer, that the administration was reviewing its defense options in europe. finally, on september 17, 2009, president obama delivered a bombshell announcement, stunning and surprising and embarrassing our czech and polish allies and announced his decision to cancel the european third site, saying that this new approach -- quote -- "will provide capabilities sooner, build on proven systems and offer greater defenses against the threat of missile attack than the 2007 european missile defense program." close quote. i have been involved in that. i will just parenthetically say that this new system that he
talked about would be better was not even on the drawing board. there was no development plans for this new system, the sm-3 block 2-b. it was not on the drawing board and they conjured it up out of thin air and said we'll have it developed by 2020. when we had a two-stage, ground-based interceptor, capable of being deployed by 2016, and the iranian threat, remember, is to be ripe by 2015. and i would just say to generals and others that think this is such an easy deal, how many appropriations processes do we have to go through without failing on a single one to develop an entirely new sm-3 block 2-b by 2020? it's not even on the drawing board today. what kind of difficulties might
incur? we had the bird in hand. we let it go for a bird in the bush. this was a huge concession. let's go a little bit further. how did it happen? now, the president and his negotiators for his treaty have insisted there is no connection between their negotiation and missile defense. we have not conceded a thing on missile defense. it's a win for us on missile defense. senator kerry said it would not lessen our ability to do a missile defense program. so i would just go a little further about it. the new start negotiations with the russians concluded on march of 2010, but they have again on march -- but they begin on march of 2009, before the president canceled the polish site.
so what happened was as part of the negotiations over this treaty, the russians made absolutely clear they were not happy and did not want and would not accept a missile defense system in europe, the same thing they told president bush. but president bush didn't acquiesce. they said we don't have to have the treaty. we don't want to reduce our weapon systems anyway. we'll just reduce our weapons systems. we won't have a treaty. we don't think you will attack us, we're not interested in attacking you. we don't have to have a treaty, but if we don't have a treaty, we're not conceding our missile defense system one whit, and we believe that poland and the czech republic are sovereign nations, and if they want to enter into a -- an agreement with the united states, put a missile defense system there, you, russia, sorry, don't have a veto over it. they no longer are under the
communist boot. they are free nations. that's the kind of way all that went down. i think it's a fair summary of what happened. and -- and the bush g.m.d., the ground-based mid course defense plan, was based on proven technology and was deployable. the new phase adaptive approach is way out in the future. it's so far out in the future, this president will not be in office if he's re-elected to see that it happens. it's a promise in the vapors.
so what am i saying about that and why am i concerned about it? i just want to repeat that the essence of what happened was that the administration in negotiating with the russians faced a hardheaded approach from typical russian negotiating strategy, and they blinked, and they have always been defensive about it, however. they always did not want it to be believed that this treaty in any way compromised our missile defense systems, and their members have been on the floor defending that. i'm not sure they know all what i'm saying to you, but it's plain to me. i was involved in it. this little quote recently in one of the -- in "the washington post" from greg thylman, a former professional
staffer on the select committee on intelligence, stated concerning the missile defense provisions in the new start treaty, he stated this -- quote -- "one of the greatest ironies is that he" -- president obama -- "made sure there was no way to attack the treaty as being tough on missile defense." close quote. you see? the president had a spin, and that spin was nothing in this treaty weakens missile defense, but the truth is it had already been weakened. they already canceled a decade-old policy of the united states to place missile defense system in europe and backed off of it and gave us instead a bird in the bush. way out in the future, a new system not even under development. why? well, it was to walk a fine
line, i would suggest, to give in to the russians on the one hand and be able to come back to congress on the other and say they haven't given in. you know, and the russians issued a unilateral statement after the start treaty had been announced that the treaty would be viable only if -- quote -- "there was no qualitative or quantitative buildup" close quote in u.s. defense missile capabilities. well, a lot of that doesn't mean anything, they can say what they want, but as we discussed earlier, at best, there's a very serious misunderstanding between the parties in this treaty, and when you have a serious misunderstanding that goes to the heart of what a treaty is
about, you don't need to go forward, just like you wouldn't do so with a contract that was being signed, and the parties clearly have a misunderstanding of quite a significant nature about the nature of the contract. what about foreign policy experts, what have they said? former under secretary of defense for policy, doug feith, wrote this very recently -- "the incoming obama administration was eager to repudiate its predecessor's policies, russian officials saw their opportunity. they asked again for the concessions that they had before unsuccessfully demanded of mr. bush. mr. obama agreed to treaty language linking offensive reductions with missile defense, limiting launch vehicles and restricting conversions of
icbms for missile defense purposes. mr. obama's poor negotiating is a cautionary tale. if you want it bad, you get it bad." close quote. well, i remember early on in this process in private briefings -- and i can say what i said to officials there. it is not in any way classified. i said i'm concerned you want this treaty too badly, and the russians will take advantage of that. and i think that's what happened. they wanted this treaty so badly as a symbol, as an effort to express leadership and to advance an agenda of the hard left in america that's -- that always doesn't like nuclear weapons and things and don't like -- never liked missile defense. former secretary of state condoleezza rice has done her
advance work on russia, said this recently -- quote -- she has indicated she would like to see the treaty confirmed, but she said this, very significantly secretary rice said -- quote -- "still, there are legitimate concerns about new start that must and can be addressed in the ratification process." must be addressed in the ratification process. she goes on -- quote -- "the senate must make absolutely clear that in ratifying this treaty, the united states is not re-establishing the cold war link between offensive forces and missile defenses. the new start preamble is worrying in this regard as it recognizes the interrelationship of the two." that would say well, it doesn't mean much, but it was signed by
both russia and the united states. it means something. "the new york times" on november november 29 reported this, again to show how we got into this mess concerning diplomatic cables. throughout 2009, the diplomatic cables show the russians vehemently objected to american plans for a ballistic missile defense site in poland and the czech republic. in talk with the united states, the russians insisted that there would be no cooperation on other issues until the european site was scrapped. six weeks later, mr. obama gave the russians what they wanted. he abruptly replaced the european site with a shipborne system." close quote. that's my observation. i was in the middle of these negotiations. we had hearings on these matters, and that's what
happened. i can only conclude that the administration negotiated away a necessary missile defense system in europe. the ability to deploy a proven system at the expense of our national security, at the expense of our nato allies' security, because they were too anxious and too committed to this treaty. for what purpose, i'm not sure. so all this time while -- we've been working on this and the biggest concern to america, as i said, are other nuclear threats, proliferation, and the like. one person, mr. holglan wrote in "the washington post," this treaty didn't go far enough, we ought to go to 500 weapons or
lower, close quote. if you continue to draw down the weapon system, we cease as a nation to be seen as a credible nuclear power. we encourage others in my opinion, to develop their own systems even to the belief that they could be a -- a peer competitor with the united states. this is not a step toward progress. -- progress and security. the steps we should take are steps that send clear, unmistakable messages that we believe in our freedom, our integrity, we are prepared to defend it. we're going to maintain a strong nuclear arsenal, unnecessary, -- necessary for that goal. once that occurs are we prepared to build missle defense systems to defend ourselves from iran or north korea or some rogue nation to defend ourselves against even i would say an accidental launch
from one of these nations or even russia. those things are good for peace and good for security and we cannot give them away after 30-plus years of development of a missle defense system people said would never work. we've proven that we do have a system that can work. it can help protect america. it can give our president strength in negotiating with a nation who happens to have missles that can reach the united states because he can look them in the eye and say, send off a missle and we'll knock it down. you're not pushing us around. that kind of thing is important and believe that this administration, through the negotiation of this treaty, through their unilateral actions during the time of negotiation treaty to capitulate on the european site and alter it
dramatically is an -- unfortunate. well, the iewrps say this sm-3 is okay, and they can live with it. i suppose they can, but we lost something stig can't and we are -- significant and we lost five years in being able to deploy a system that we need right now. so, mr. president, i know others want to speak and -- and i respect differences of opinion, but the scenario i've given, i believe, is correct. i believe it's -- i'm -- i'm telling the truth, and i believe a lot of our senators haven't been aware of it. so if i'm wrong, let's talk about it. let's don't run this treaty through so fast that we don't have an opportunity to fully understand what this administration has committed our nation to and -- in such a way that could weaken our security
and create more instability in the world instead of greater stability. just signing an agreement on a peace of paper does not create security i have to say it's a consistent principled, just approach to our legitimate national defense and advocated clearly and forthrightly without misunderstanding is the best way to have security in this dangerous world. and i thank the chair and would yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from new york. mr. schumer: well, thank you, mr. president. first, i want to commend my colleague from massachusetts, and so many, including our president, for making this the high priority that it is. we know -- we know how righ vitl
this is for somebody like myself who is so concerned about iran going nuclear and the cooperation of the russians being so essential, the bottom line is that this treaty is essential. it's not just better, it's essential. i must rise because of a comment my colleague from arizona made. and, first, let me preface by saying my enormous respect for him. nobody has done more to serve his country -- this country in this chamber than the senator from arizona. he's a veteran, a serviceman, he served his country well. it's something that i and every other member of this chamber greatly respect. but, unfortunately, i heard him say words before in his desire to get this treaty fully debated. he said -- quote -- "after all of the fooling around on new york city.
after all of the fooling around on new york city" referring to the zodroga bill. mr. president, this is not fooling around. these men and the thousands of others who rushed to the towers on 9/11 and in the days thereafter were not fooling around. they, just like my colleague from arizona, were risking their lives. it was like a time of war. the bottom line is that we were attacked and without asking any questions, the police and firefighters, the construction workers and e.m.t. workers, who rushed to the towers risked their lives in a time of war as well. and to call that helping them fooling around is saddening and
frustrating -- saddening and frustrating. we've had a grand tradition in this country, mr. president, a grand tradition when veterans fight for us and risk their lives and get injured, we deal with their medical problems. we help them with their medical problems. those 9/11 heroes who rushed to the towers are no different. and when the senator from new york, senator gillibrand, and myself and so many others are pushing hard for the zadroga bill, we are not fooling around. we are fulfilling our duty as patriotic americans for all of those, from new york and elsewhere, who rushed to the towers much we understand there are many needs on the floor and the hour is late. that is true. we tried to vote on the bill earlier. we did not get the number of votes. we're now working with our colleagues on the republican side of the aisle to find a new
pay for because they didn't like the one that came over from the house. and one final point, mr. president, this is not a new york issue. this is an american issue. this is not just about new york city or new york state where admittedly the largest number of 9/11 responders came from, but from every state of the union including, i would remind my good friend and patriot and veteran from arizona, between 100 and 200 from the state of arizona who rushed to new york, bravely, selflessly, to help us. we are not asking for a handout. all we're asking is the medical problems, the cancers and the other illnesses that came about because of the glass and the debris that lodged in their lungs when they rushed to service be treated. just as we treat our veterans. so i hope that after we finish
debate on this start bill, and i understand it should have a full debate, that we will then take up this zadroga bill. and i hope and pray not only for those on 9/11 who rushed to the towers, but for what america is all about, that we, democrats and republicans, alike rise to the occasion and pass the zadroga bill and allow those who served us and are now suffering from cancers and those who will get cancer because their bravery, their heroism in the finest american tradition get the medical help they need and deserve. 900 have already died. thousands are ill and thousands more will learn of their illnesses. we cannot and must not -- we cannot forsake them. we must not forsake them. i repeat, it is not -- i
underline it is not fooling around on new york city. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from massachusetts. a senator: mr. president? mr. mccain: mr. president, a point of personal privilege. i understand sthearnt from new york had -- the senator from new york had some comment. i said and i'll be glad to have the record quoted, i said fooling around with a bill concerning new york. the majority leader keeps bringing up that and other pieces of legislation for votes which don't get enough votes. so for the senator from new york to somehow interpret that as my critical of the bill itself, of course, is an incredible stretch of the imagination, and, frankly, i resent it. mr. kerry: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from massachusetts.
mr. kerry: i understand the comment from the senator from arizona. let me ask this if i may, and i appreciate the senator from arizona and the senator from south carolina agreeing to this. i ask unanimous consent to amend the request for the order to allow senator levin to have 10 minutes now and then we will go back to the order with senator graham. mr. mccain: including 10 more additional minutes for senator barrasso added to the unanimous consent. mr. kerry: senator barrasso will be added 10 minutes to the overall list. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection, so ordered. the senator from michigan. mr. levin: our missle defense program is not covered or limited by the new start treaty. it's about as simple statement as i can make. there's been an awful lot of debate about the missle defense program and allegations that it's limited by this treaty. so let's listen to the experts. secretary of defense, first, testimony before the armed services committee on june 17 said the -- quote -- "the treaty
will not constrain the united states from deploying the most effective missle defenses possible 0 nor have additional costs on those barriers. i remain confident that the missle defense program which has made considerable advancement including the sm-3 missle, which we will deploy in europe. secretary clinton on june 17 -- quote -- "the treaty does not constrain our missle defense efforts. i want to underscore this she said because i know there have been a lot of concerns about this and i anticipate a lot of questions. then she said about the preamble, it does include language acknowledging the stratigic offensive and defensive forces, but that's simply a statement of fact. it too does not constrain our missle defense programs. close quote. general chilton, he's our commander of the united states strategic command -- quote --
"the combatant command also responsible for sin synchronizig the operations and advocacy, i can say with confidence -- okay, this is our top commander -- i can say with confidence that this treaty does not constrain any current or future missle defense plans. now, the senator from alabama talked about some effort here to carry out some kind of a left wing agenda. general kevin chilton is the commander of our united states stratigic command. i can say with confidence this treaty does not constrain any current or future missle defense plans. now, the ballistic missle defensive review report filed earlier this year, made it clear that there -- to defend the homeland in different regions of
the world against missle threats from nations such as north korea and iran. he talked about the phase adaptive approach to missle defense in europe. the secretary of defense and the joint chiefs of staff have recommended the phased adaptive approach unanimously. these are our top military people. they're advising us. this is not some political agenda which is being implemented by this treaty. this is a military and security necessity for this country. that's not just me saying it. this is the top military people of our country who are saying it. the nato stratigic concept. this is what nato is saying about that phased adaptive approach which has been criticized during earlier statement on the floor. this is what the nato folks say about it. these are our allies. the united states-european
phased adaptive approach is welcomed as a valuable national contribution to the nato missle defense architecture. mr. president, the armed sstleses committee, in our authorization bill, section 231-b-8 said the following: "there are no constraints contained in the new start treaty on the development or deployment of effective missile defenses, including all phases of the phased adaptive approach to missile defense in europe and further enhancements to the ground-based middle course defense system, as well as future missile defenses." admiral mullen, top military, uniformed military official in our country, admiral mullen -- quote -- "i see no restrictions in this treaty in terms of our development of missile defense, which is a very important system." that's in front of the foreign relations committee, chaired with such distinction by senator
kerry. he said that in may of 2010. general james cartwright, vice-chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. he is in our number-two top uniform official. here's what he said. quote -- "all of the joint chiefs are very much behind this treaty. we need start, and we need it badly." general o'reilly again, director of our missile defense agency. quote -- "throughout the treaty negotiations, i frequently consulted with the new start team on all potential impacts to missile defense. the new start does not constrain our plans to execute the u.s. missile defense program." ands this is what he added: "the new start treaty actually reduces previous start treaties' constraints on developing missile defense programs in several areas.
we will have greater flexibility in using it, as missile defense test target with regard to lairnlg locations, telemetry and data processing thus allowing more efficient test architectures and operationally realistic intercept geometries." now, this isn't our civilian people, who might allegedly or allegedly have some kind of a political agenda. these are our top military people in our country who are telling us there are no constraints on missile defense, every siflg one of them support it -- every single one of them support it. the people in charge of our missile defense system strongly support it the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff strongly supports it. the suggestion that there's sort of a political agenda behind this treaty flies smack in the face of the sworn -- not sworn testimony. they weren't under oath. we don't need them under oath. the testimony of our top uniformed military officials in
this country. the suggestion that what is driving this is some kind of a political agenda false completely flat. it runs directly counter to the testimony of these officials. now, in terms of the preamble language -- and this is where the pending amendment would seek to amend the treaty itself by removing this language, which of course kills the treaty. if you amend the treaty here, that's the end of the treaty. the full paragraph says that -- it recognizes the existence of the interrelationship between strategic offensive arms and strategic defensive arms. and that this interrelationship will become more important as strategic nuclear arms are reduced and that current strategic defensive arms do not undermine the viability and effectiveness of the strategic offensive arms of the parties. this statement is a long-standing, decades-old recognition of an undisputable fact. there is a relationship between
strategic offense saifnedz strategic defensive systems. it has been recognized in our nuclear arms limitation and reduction treaty since the 1970's. this is president george w. bush on this subject. it is a joint statement with president pew continue. july 22, 2001. now, this isn't president obama. this is president bush, president george w. bush: joint statement with president putin. "we agree that major changes in the world require concrete discussions of both offensive and defensive systems. we will shortly begin" -- and we all lawsuit ought to listen to this. those who are charging that this is some kind of agenda of president obama and is not totally in sirchl what has come
before in terms of start treaties should listen what president bush said in 2001. "we will shortly begin intensive consultations" and i'll finish. i think i've run out of time so i'll finish here. i thank the chaimplet i think this is the one statement which is the clearest of them all. this is george -- president george w. bush. "we" -- president bush and president putin -- "will shortly begin intensive consultations on the interrelated subjects of offensive and defensive systems." close quote. this relationship is as old as our treaties. they've been made by statements of inter-- the statements of interrelationship ha have been e by democratic and republican presidents. i would hope that language would
not be stripped. if it is, it will kill the treaty. the argument here runs smack again into the statements of support from our top uniformed military officials. i yield the floor and again i want to thank our chairman and ranking member of our foreign reels committee. they've don't know superb job in handing these hearings and presenting this to the senate. mr. graham: madam speaker? the presiding officer: the senator south carolina. mr. graham: i think i am recognized for ten minutes, is that correct? the presiding officer: the senator is correct. mr. graham: let me know when nine has expired, if you don't mind. the presiding officer: certainly. mr. graham: we're going to have a little exchange here about what the last week has been like. there are some statements that republicans have not been here offering amendments, that somehow we've just been letting time pass at the expense of a meaningful debate on the start treaty. i think we can catalog at least what three of us have been doing in the last week, and that might be informative to the body as to why it's been tough to talk about start in a meaningful way.
but to senator levin, who is a wonderful man, if this has to be -- if this preamble language taken out of the treaty is a fatal problem, then that really bothers me because i don't know if any russians are listening to this debate, but i've got a simple question for your government. your government has been saying publicly that if we deploy -- the united states -- four stages of missile defense, that allows you to tbraw the treaty. we all intend do that. our president is saying that we're going to deploy four stages of missile defense to defend this nation against missile attacks from north korea, iran, anywhere elsewhere it may come from. if you don't agree with that, let us know now because it's nolt going to help you or not to sign a treaty and it fall apart later. so at the end of the day, this is a simple question that needs to be answered in a direct,
simple way. does the russian government believe the preamble language that's this asenator mccampaign is trying to strike gives them a legal ability to withdraw from the treaty if we move forward on missile defense as we plan to? thathat is not complicated. that is a very big deal, and i don't care what an american says about that. i want to hear from the russian government as to what you say about that. so, get back with meevmen me. now, wednesday of last week, senator kyl said, here's my view of how we should do start in the lame-duck. you suggested that we should get the taxes -- tax issue behind us and we need to come up with a way to fund the government and we could start the debate on the start treaty last wednesday. do you remember saying that senator kyl? the presiding officer: the senator from arizona. mr. kyl: actually, if i could correct it just a little bit, i was involved in the negotiations over the tax legislation. and in an effort to prod the
people in those negotiations to put their ideas on the table so we could complete work on the tax negotiations, i said, given the schedule that the leader had announced, the desire to leave washington this afternoon, december 17, i felt that they needed to follow -- and i laid out a schedule, you're right -- by which we would complete work on the tax legislation and the funding of the government so that we could begin this treaty last wednesday. and if we were able to begin the treaty last wednesday, that -- and we didn't have any interruptions in the interim -- then a period of about nine days would have existed even working through the weekend and we could have completed it by today -- by the way, when i said last wednesday, i mean the wednesday prior. mr. graham: our leader said on the floor of the senate, our goal is to try to get out by the 18th because we don't want to be here on christmas eve, like we were last tight tiesm i think that was music to most of our
ears. so could you please walk through with me what the senate has been dealing with since last wednesday. the tax debate finally got finished when? last night? mr. kyl: madam president, the house finally concluded its work on the tax extensions and related activities last night. i think ours was a night or two prior to that. mr. graham: now, you are our lead negotiator on the taxes, is that correct? mr. kyl: i am not going to take credit for that because i'd get a lot of-- madam president, i'll totally deny that i had anything to do with it but i was involved in the negotiations for the republican senate side, yes. mr. graham: and those negotiations have resulted in a vote in the house last night. what else have we done? twhras an effort to pass the defense appropriations bill without any ability to amend it? senator mccain?
mr. kerry: madam president, i would scuse all to abide by the senate rules and to ask plew the chair. mr. mccain: madam president, i ask unanimous consent that the leave it us be allowed to engage in a colloquy. the presiding officer: is there objection? mr. mccain: my own teens that is yes. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mccain: there was a lot of work and effort and time spent on that issue, yes. mr. graham: and i do believe, senator kyl, in addition, you are our whip on the republican side, is that correct? mr. kyl: madam president, yes, i -- yes. mr. graham: so, one thing has happened is that we've been trying to make sure that there was not a vote on the defense appropriation -- authorization bill in a fashion where there could be no amendment by the republicans. i think we were successful in beating that, is that correct? mr. kyl: yes, that's exactly correct. and we were work og than at the same time. well, that's been going on now for about 10 sore 12 days.
mr. graham: how many efforts have there been since the wednesday in question dealing with the "dream" act? how many opportunities have we had to deal with different versions of the "dream" act that may come before the senate? mr. kyl: madam president, i've forgotten. i -- i'd have to tell my cleecialg i think it's three. i'm not sure. we're now on the sixth version of the bill. mr. graham: as i understand it, there's going to be another vote on the "dream" act coming up maybe tomorrow? mr. kyl: madam president, i think that's the schedule that we would have a cloture vote on the "dream" act tomorrow morning. mr. graham: and as part of your duties and some of us that have been involved in imgrairks we've been very concerned about that trying to make sure the "dream" act doesn't pass this way because we believe it would be bad for the country. is that correct? mr. kyl: yes, i have been consulting with our members on the "dream" act, on the defense bill that you mentioned, on the tax legislation, on what we then called the omnibus appropriations bill, which -- mr. graham: well, let's stop there.
the omnibus appropriations bill was defeated last night, is that correct? mr. kyl: madam president, yes. the majority leader -- well, it wasn't defeated. the majority leader pulled it down in order to reach an agreement with the republican side on a much slimmed-down version, a continuing resolution. mr. graham: did that take much of your time? mr. kyl: madam president, yes, that took a lost my time, working on the omnibus appropriations bill, as you know, when two days ago we began debate on the start treaty, there was an asum on this that i would speak immediately on the first evening. i said actually, let's get some business done here first. we need to do the funding of the government and so my first comefntses were on the omnibus appropriations bill. mr. graham: as of right now, do we have a deal to fund the government that's firm? mr. kyl: madam president, no. the house of representatives, i understand, has gone home after adopting a very short-term, i think three-day continuing resolution to fund the government since interfunding
terminates at midnight tomorrow night. swreel to then take up hereto that -- well, we'll probably take that up, adopt that bi, i assume, by unanimous consent. we will then work out maybe the three-month continuing resolution that will have to be passed by both bodies before we go home. mr. graham: to my friend from arizona, senator mccain, are you aware of an effort to repeal the don't ask, don't tell policy that would allow no republican amendment that could be as early as tomorrow, this weekend? mr. mccain: i would say, madam president, that not only on the don't ask, don't tell, has the tree been filled up, but also on the "dream" act. i've been heavily involved in obviously immigration issues for some years, including things that have happened, including the murder of a border patrol agent just the last couple of days in arizona, obviously by someone from the drug cartels. so, yes, so there will be again
a vote with no amendments allowed again, which obviously -- on either one of those pieces of legislation. mr. graham: thank you. since feelings are getting a bit raw here and it is no use blame being anybody, it is hard to reach a on how to fund the gofort. there was an effort to do it that fell apart that i thought it was against the mandate of the last election. thank god we defeated that but it took a lot of effort. there's an effort to pass the dream act that i think is unseemly, counterproductive -- that's been counter product i have to overall immigration reform and i don't think it's a serious effort at immigration reform more than it is politics. so in conclusion to my colleagues, it's been a week from hell. it's been a week where you're dealing with a lot of big issues, from taxes to funding the government, to special interest politics, and i've had some time to think about start but not a lot and it's really wearing on the body. this is a major piece of legislation, and my good friend,
john kerry, who i respect, i know you've tried to get this debate going in a way that we could find a conclusion that we all could votego home and explain to our constituents -- vote and go home and explain to our constituents. senator kyl laid that way out. unfortunately, everything you hoped to have happen from wednesday to this friday has, quite frankly, just been unacceptable to a serious debate on start. and here we are, the week before christmas eve, and we've talked about a lot of stuff, some important, some politics, and this is the first time i've really had the chance to talk about start. so i'm not blaming anybody, but, please, don't blame me that i've somehow just ignored start because we've been pretty busy around here stopping some bad ideas, or at least trying to. i yield the floor. mr. kerry: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from massachusetts. mr. kerry: madam president, i know that another senator is about to be recognized and i'm not going to take very long, but let me just say, i -- i understand the frustration of
colleagues here. i really do. and i think my colleagues know the good-faith efforts that the president, the vice president, myself and others have made to try to move the schedule here. the fact is, we began debate on -- on this treaty on wednesday afternoon -- wednesday morning, but we were delayed slightly, wednesday afternoon after senator lincoln's farewe farewell. we had opening speeches. everybody argued that it was important to have opening speeches. not necessarily have every amendment right away, we need to have opening. so we had openings. then we had the second day of debate, and today, friday, we've had the third day of debate. so tomorrow, sunday, monday, tuesday, wednesday, we have the opportunity to have the fourth day, fifth day, sixth day, which is what colleagues said we needed to try to accomplish this, maybe six days, and i
really believe that we can do it in that period of time. now, you know, i've been here for 25 years. i've been here when we've had a republican president and a republican majority leader. i've been here when we've had a democrat president and republican majority leader, and a republican house. and every variation. and inevitably, we've had some tough choices to face which don't please everybody. you know, times when we're forced to try to deal with the business of our country. i -- i respect completely, you know, i've worked so closely with the senator from arizona for so many years, i know the feelings are what they are. but this treaty is, in our judgment, and in the president's judgment, important to our national security. we've got 150,000 troops out there across the world, iraq, afghanistan. they're pretty uncomfortable
tonight but they're doing their job. and i believe we need to do our job here and not necessarily spend so much time worrying about schedule which often we don't control, for one reason or another. i know the senator's upset about something that came over from the house. we don't control the house. the house made a decision to pass something and send it to us, and the majority leader, for all the obvious reasons, feels compelled that it's something that he ought to deal with. so let's do this business. let's not complain and -- and i think that the important thing here is to keep working. it's friday night. i'll stay as late as anybody wants to bring an amendment. tomorrow we have some votes. we may or may not have intervening business. i don't know what the outcome of those votes will be. but we have the ability to continue on this treaty. and we certainly have the ability to finish it well before christmas. the majority leader has made it clear to me there are only four
items or five items that have to be dealt with: the spending -- and now that's going to be a short-term spending until we resolve the differences -- the spending. the second item is the two votes tomorrow. that's three items. and perhaps one other vote on the new york thing. i don't know what the situation is on that. and the start treaty. so two of those items i think most people understand they're not sure what the outcome's going to be. one, we may be on for a day. it's hard to say. but other than that, this is the only business. a senator: will the senator yield for a question? mr. kerry: i would be happy to yield. the presiding officer: the senator from illinois. mr. durbin: i'd like to ask through the chair, i've just checked with the clerk, and it's my understanding that eight amendments have been filed to date on this start treaty. mr. kerry: that's -- i think we have about five but it may have jumped up in the time i've been here. mr. durbin: i think at the latest count, eight amendments. we're on the third day of debate. how many of these amendments have been called for debate and a vote? mr. kerry: we're only on the first amendment.
mr. durbin: i see. and is the senator from massachusetts prepared to have a vote on one of these amendments or awful these amendments? mr. kerry: we're prepared to vote actually on the treaty but they have several amendments. we want to give them time to have those amendments. we're prepared to vote on this amendment. now, in fairness, let me be clear. i want to be clear to the senator from illinois. i don't think that our colleagues have abused the process in terms of this amendment. they've tried in good faith to line up speakers. i think it's important that they have an opportunity to thoroughly debate it and some other amendments. and so i'm not certainly joining in suggesting that they've delayed this on this amendment. i think we've gotten into a good debate and we ought to be able to finish it. mr. durbin: if the senator would yield for a question, i'm not suggesting it either, but the eight amendments have been filed by republican senators and i don't know that you have done anything, in fact, i'm certain that you've done nothing to stop them should they want to go forward with those amendments. and it strikes me that we're in our third day of debate. well, tomorrow, fourth day of
debate. and historically, many of these treaties have been completed in two to five days, if i'm not mistaken. i ask the senator from massachusetts, if we can work on this tomorrow, sunday, monday, tuesday, i mean, we could consider the amendments that have been filed, could we not? mr. kerry: absolutely. well, madam president, i would say that obviously that depends somewhat on what the majority leader's decision is with respect to some of that schedule. but in terms of what we are prepared to do, i believe we can work on it tomorrow. it's my understanding that the majority leader said he thought we would be as well as on sund sunday. the majority leader's prepared to continue to proceed forward on this -- on this agreement. mr. durbin: if i could ask the senator from massachusetts. the presiding officer: the senator from illinois. mr. durbin: through the chair, and they say less of a question than a statement but i'll try to end it with a question mark. i'd like to let the senator from massachusetts know that i have withheld the entire day from coming to the floor and speaking about the dream act, which will be voted on first thing in the morning. though it's very important to me. i wanted to give every senator
the opportunity they needed on both sides of the aisle to discuss the start treaty, the new start treaty. and i would just like to say to the senator from massachusetts that when his debate on this matter ends today, as late as it may be, i will come to the floor and speak on the dream act. but i don't want to interrupt beyond what i'm doing at this moment his efforts to give everyone a chance to speak about this national security measure and so that this is in the form of a question, doesn't that sound reasonable? mr. kerry: i thank the senator for his forbearance and for his thoughtfulness with respect to what's going on on the floor, and i -- i -- that is absolutely reasonable, as far as i'm concerned. a senator: mr. president? mr. corker: mr. president? mr. kerry: madam president, i would yield for a question because senator dodd is next in line and i don't want to abuse his time. but i'm happy to answer a question from my friend. the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mr. corker: i have two questions, madam president, through you to the senator from massachusetts. it's my understanding that we have a cloture vote in the morning and should cloture be
reached on a provision, we would then be on that matter for a couple of days; is that correct? the presiding officer: the senator is correct. mr. corker: so to talk about -- i just want to get it straight. there's not going to be any debate on start should one of the two matters that will be taken up in the morning pass cloture, the whole weekend will be spent on other issues. mr. kerry: i would be happy to answer. the presiding officer: the senator from massachusetts. mr. corker: let me ask -- the second question is -- mr. kerry: may i answer the first question? madam president, it doesn't necessarily have to happen that way. that's a choice i guess that senators can make. it is entirely possible to yield back time. this is an issue that is well-known to every senator. it's been worked on. it's been voted on. senators are already accountable for their votes on that issue. it is one that the senate has debated at great length and had
hearings on at great length. if the senators decide they need the 30 hours, indeed, that can push us on. but there's no reason we have to be on it for those 30 hours. and i would say to the senator, it's perfectly plausible we could be back on the start treaty tomorrow, depending on the choices made, first of all, in the vote and then, secondly, depending on the outcome of the vote, the choices senators make afterwards. mr. corker: and secondly, madam president, i appreciate the answer to the first, my guess is, though, just based on the nature of the topic, i wouldn't be surprised if most of that time was used. but when a message comes over from the house, when they pass something, whatever we want to characterize that as, we don't automatically have to take that up. i mean, that can be sent to a committee or left here at the desk. we don't have to vote on things that come over from the house of the nature that we're going to be voting on in the morning; is that correct? i mean, that's a decision that's made, not something that's automatic? mr. kerry: madam president, to
the best of my understanding, i think the senator is correct, there are choices that can be exercised by those in the position to make those choices. and i think that choice has been made and we are where we are. mr. corker: well, madam president, i'll close, i know the senior senator from connecticut is getting ready to speak, someone we all respect. i just want to say that, as i said three hours ago, someone who's worked closely with the chairman of the foreign relations committee -- and i think he would say in a very constructive way -- i think the decision to take up the house measure in the middle of this debate, which i have to tell you, today there's not many things on the senate floor tha that -- well, i shouldn't say that. this is one of the more interesting matters i've heard debated on the senate floor, where lots of serious issues are being brought up. i mean, this is not one of those filibuster kinds of debates.
the fact is that we're in the middle of this. we haven't voted on the first amendment, and the leadership of the senate has decided to pivot off of that on to something that's totally unrelated and to eat up the rest of the weekend, and i just want to say one more time, i can sense that it's totally changed the nature of -- of the debate and people's seriousness or feeling of seriousness about this whole debate. so with that, i thank you, and i thank you -- the presiding officer: the senator from massachusetts. mr. kerry: well, madam president, i want to say first of all, i wish the senator from tennessee would have finished the sentence he originally began which is to say this is one of the most important things we could take up. but i understand why he checked himself and held back from that. but let me just say -- let me just say, i'd say this to my colleagues, i probably don't have the power or the ability to reach over some of these feelings.
i would hope -- and this is a prayer as well as a plea, on a personal level -- that sometimes things happen that our out of some people's control here. i believe that we can get through these votes tomorrow and still have time to do something that i know these colleagues of mine -- i've had private conversations with them. i know what they think about this treaty behind all of this that's going on. i know they understand the importance of our position in the world, of our capacity to not make foreign policy and national security subject to all these other forces here. it's a reach. it's going to require -- i understand. look, i'm just asking, one person, one senator, chairman of the foreign relations committee, we've put a lot of energy into this effort over the last year
and a half, this matters, i think, to our country. i'm not saying that as a democrat. i don't think you'd say it as a republican. i think this matters to our country. i think russia is watching what we're going to do here. i think the world is watching what we're going to do here. this is about nuclear weapons. it's about stability. we have enormous challenges with iran and north korea. believe me, from all the conversations i have as chairman of this committee with a lot of different liters leaders, they o us for what we do and whether we make good on the things we say that matter to us. and i believe that this is one of those things that they'll say, wow, these guys can't even get their collective act together to do something as important as a bilateral relationship between the two countries that have 90% of the world's nuclear weapons. so my prayer is that we can do that in these next few days, and i hope we can make that happen.
the presiding officer: the senator from arizona. mr. kyl: might i ask unanimous consent to speak for 60 seconds? and i hate to hold up the senator from connecticut. i want to make it very clear that i don't think there is anybody on this side that holds senator kerry accountable for the fact that this is a confusing and back and forth kind of debate between the start treaty and other issues that are on the floor, but i also want to say this: i started saying about three weeks ago, knowing that other people would try to bring issues to the floor, and knowing that we had a lot of other business we had to conclude, i could see this situation developing, where despite the best efforts of senator kerry and others, it would be very difficult to have the kind of debate that we needed on the start treaty. unfortunately, my prediction has come true. it has been very, very difficult because of the intersession of all of these other issues, but it is clear that it's not the
responsibility that senator kerry bears no responsibility, although i would just say this: that the decision to move forward is a joint decision by all of the people on the democratic side, and that, i think, was the critical decision that got us into this problem. mr. kerry: my final comment stands, madam president. i hope the united states senate will find the capacity in these next four or five, six, whatever number of days it is. the majority leader has said he is prepared to allow us to stay here as long as we want to get this business done, and the president and the majority leader together have made it clear that this is important business that must get done in order for us to complete our business this year. with that said, i thank the senator from connecticut enormously for his patience. mr. dodd: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from connecticut. mr. dodd: madam president, i -- with a great deal of reluctance, i rise to talk about this, having given what i thought was my last set of remarks on the
floor of the senate a week or so ago, i thought i would just let it lie there rather than come over. but i -- this is such an important matter. in fact, other than amending the constitution or declarations of war, i don't know of any other more important matter than an arms control agreement such as this one that deserves our attention and time. i want to begin by commending our colleague from massachusetts, our colleague from indiana. they have spent months and months at this. obviously, the administration has in terms of their negotiations with the -- with the russians on this question as well, so an awful lot has gone into this. i have been involved in a lot of lame-duck sessions, madam president, over the years, and i can usually predict with some degree of certainty what happens during lame-duck sessions -- not much, unfortunately, but it is the way it is. you come after an election. rarely does an election produce exactly the same results in terms of the membership of an institution like this coming out of an election as you have going in, and this election psych sl
no exception to that prediction. so it makes it difficult because obviously the party that has gained seats or gained control of one chamber or the other would prefer to wait until a -- a later date. and i understand that. as i said, i have watched lame-duck sessions. i would be hard pressed to name one that produced much because of what happened and goes on in these matters. so i begin with the observation of having watched that. but there are matters, it seems to me, that rise beyond the normal predictions of lame-duck sessions, and i think this is one, and hence, the reason why i decided to come over to express some views on this. i don't claim to be an expert in this area. there are members here who have spent a lot of time on these questions, far more than i have. i want to begin by saying i don't know all the details of this. i have looked at it, i have read about it, i have listened to some of the debate about it. but what motivates me to come and ask my colleagues to consider the moment is the fact that so many of the people that we respect who have been engaged
over the years in the conduct of arms controls and negotiations, almost without exception, one of those rare occurrences, where a cross section of some of the finest leaders this country has produced in the last 100 years have been deeply involved in arms control issues have joined together in common cause to ask us to ratify and support this treaty. it is unique in many ways. and so whatever expertise or knowledge they bring or don't bring to this debate, i think it warrants our attention that former president h.w. bush, president clinton, former secretaries of state madeleine autobiography right -- madeleine albright, james baker, george schulze, harold brown, bill cohen, james schlesinger, this is a cross-section of republicans and democrats who have been deeply involved in the very subject matter that is the
suggest of this debate. all of whom, every one of whom have said do not miss this moment to get this done. and so for those of us who are knowledgeable or less than knowledgeable about the subject matter -- and i'm not suggesting that merely because others have said this is worthy of our support, one ought to automatically do it, but it is a subject matter that is so critical to our country, to its future, to the national security needs of our nation that we ought to be able to take the time, in my view, despite these interruptions that have occurred on other matters that are important as well. i don't minimize their importance, but if you ask me of all the issues we are discussing and debating, none even comes close, at least over the present list of this issue of arms control in this start treaty. this is, again, one of those rare moments that occur here when i think there is at least a strong potential of consensus,
largely consensus over the notion that we ought to ratify this agreement. i would urge my colleagues to read the statement of richard lugar that went into great detail and depth, a lengthy statement he made about why this particular treaty is worthy of our support. he anticipated some of the arguments against it. it is as thorough and comprehensive an analysis of why this agreement is important and why it's deserving of our support as united states senators, regardless of party, regardless of the moment, that we're in a lame-duck session with other issues that i know have caused great division in this body and are not likely to be resolved. maybe one or two, but i doubt it in the midst of all of this. but this matter transcends that, madam president, and therefore i rise to offer my -- my thoughts on the matter and to commend senator kerry and his staff, senator clinton, secretary gates, dick lugar, his staff and
others who have been a part of this. ten long months of debate, discussion, we're finally able to move forward on this national security issue. the senate hearings, the foreign relations, had 20 hearings, madam president, on this treaty. it's been analyzed and debated for over a year now. senator kerry and lugar and their staffs have worked in good faith to address all the concerns on both sides of the aisle. the facts and issues are clear to everyone, and i think it's time for us to support this agreement. i want to commend president obama and secretary clinton, as i mentioned earlier, the national security teams for negotiating this vitally important treaty with our russian counterparts and for their efforts in providing the senate with extensive information these past ten months. now, as a member of the foreign relations committee, madam president, i recall last summer senator kerry deferring to several of our colleagues who asked not to even vote in the committee on the subject matter but to wait until we came back.
leave a little time over the time to analyze and think about all of this. we did. and then the issue was we would vote on it when we came back after that break. well, no, don't do that because we have an election coming up and it could politicize it. let's just wait until after the election, there will be a lame-duck session and we can all do it then, and here we are. so i -- again, i respect immensely how senator kerry and senator lugar have conducted themselves, respecting the very legitimate issues that have been raised. i don't suggest that the issues are not legitimate, but merely because an issue is legitimate doesn't mean it can't be answered, and then ultimately you have to vote here. no one ever anticipated absolute unanimity that there would be those who felt that this agreement was lacking in one aspect or another. that's a legitimate concern, and the way to express it is by voting against it. but those of us who feel this is the right thing to do ought not to be denied the opportunity to express our support for it as well. historically, of course, weapons treaties in the senate receive
wide bipartisan support. the original start treaty was debated during the collapse of the soviet union, it reduced nuclear weapons from 10,000 to 6,000, to five days of floor time. it was adopted 93-6. start ii which came four years later took only two days of floor debate, madam president, and it passed 87-4. collectively here, you have five -- nine days, two major start treaties were able to be adopted. now, there is no reason why the new start should not enjoy the same bipartisan support, maybe not in the same numbers. i understand that. nonetheless, it's time for us to act. since the expiration of the original start treaty in december of 2009, as you have heard over and over again, no verification to russia's nuclear weapons has occurred. simply put, this endangers our national security. the longer we fail to verify, the greater the danger our country faces. inspectors on the ground and
verification safeguards allow our intelligence community to have a better understanding and knowledge of russia's nuclear arsenal. as president reagan famously said, "trust but verify." requesting at the moment, we can only trust. i think all of us agree it's time to verify as well. the u.s. and russia maintain over 90% of the world's nuclear weapons. therefore, it's vital that we take the lead in securing these weapons to create a world with less risk of nuclear devastation not to -- not to -- of course, not to mention reducing the nefarious threat of nuclear terrorism. this new treaty improves upon and enhances the original start treaty signed in 1991 by president george h.w. bush and ratified in 1994. and i remind my colleagues again, president bush supports this agreement. the author -- at least one of the authors of the start treaty signed in 1991 urges us,
senators, democrats, republicans, independents, to support this effort. the new start treaty establishes lower limits, and i know you have heard a lot of this, the united states and russian nuclear forces. 1,550 deployed strategic warheads, 700 deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine launched ballistic missiles and heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments. would also limit to 800 the total number of deployed and nondeployed icbm and slbm launchers and heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments. all of the new limits were verified and are strongly supported by the department of defense. flexibility will be a key result of the new treaty. it will give the united states the flexibility in deploying our own arsenal and in deciding what is put on land, in the air and sea. in addition, this treaty will improve verification and
inspection systems for russia's nuclear weapons which have not been monitored since the early -- since the treaty expired, as i said a moment ago, a year ago. the new verification measures are less costly and complex than the original treaty, i might add as well. let me quote secretary gates on this treaty. i quote him, he says it establishes, this treaty does, an extensive verification regime to ensure that russia is complying with its treaty obligations. he goes on to say these include short notice inspections to both deployed and nondeployed systems, verification of the numbers of warheads actually carried on russian strategic missiles and unique identifiers that will track for the very first time all accountable strategic nuclear delivery systems, end of quote. that's from our own secretary of defense, the secretary of defense to president bush and now the current secretary of defense as well. there has been a lot of talk about the missile defense in recent months. some have claims that start will
in some way inhibit the ability of the u.s. to defend ourselves in this regard. i urge my colleagues, read richard lugar's comments about this very issue. he went into great detail to examine this allegation and did so in the most thorough manner, madam president, and i urge my colleagues who have any issues about it to read senator lugar's comments about this. and i would just say it's simply not true, the allegation. new start does not constrain the u.s. from developing or deploying defenses against ballistic missiles. secretary gates, chairman of the joint chiefs, admiral mullen, lieutenant general riley, the director of the missile defense agency, all concur on this point. again, i say to my colleagues, i respect your knowledge, your expertise and how much you have looked into this, but when you have the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, the secretary of defense and you have the director of the missile defense agency all say you're wrong, respectfully i suggest that maybe when it comes down to
deciding which side of that argument you want to rely upon, i think frankly our history would demonstrate that relying on the very people who are deeply involved in this ought to outweigh, i say that respectfully, the concerns raised by others. the concerns have also been raised over the modernization of our nuclear weapons infrastructure stockpile. not an illegitimate issue. i know my friend and colleague from arizona, senator kyl, has raised this as a very important point. the president has sought to address these concerns. i don't know if he has to the complete satisfaction of those who raised it, but he has committed $80 billion, madam president, over the next decade to modernize our nuclear weapons. this is more than a reasonable sum, i'm told, by those who are knowledgeable about this. once the president requests these funds, it is the job, obviously, of those who will be here in congress to appropriate the money. now, i gather -- i spoke with my colleague from california, senator feinstein, a number of days ago and others, those who are in a position to be responsible for this have indicated they will support this and make a strong case for it.
madam president, this treaty will ensure that we continue to build upon our close relationship with russia as well. not an insignificant issue. in preventing the spread of nuclear weapons and creating a more stable and secure world at a time when we'd all acknowledge it's becoming less and less so as we've all painfully seen even in things like the most recent wikileaks. the current cable traffic. the growing problems in iran and north korea and all the concerns we have about these hot spots around the world. to be able to bring some stability and -- and recement this relationship with russia could not be more important at this hour. and, beyond the obvious provisions of this treaty, it is critically important to understand the larger context as well that senator kerry and senator lugar have so eloquently described over the last several days.
so there is far more important questions in this treaty than just the provisions of it itself, as important as they are. so, madam president, this treaty will ensure that we continue to build on those close relationships. our two countries have been collaborating to reduce the threat of nuclear weapons for decades. in the tradition of president reagan, clinton, and both president bushes, this furthers that partnership between ourselves and russia. again, 90% -- 90%, madam president, of the world's nuclear arsenals are controlled by our two countries and the ability to be able to make some significant reductions not only lessens the tensions between our two nations, but the one thing i think most of us fear is having these weapons end up in the wrong hands. and we know as we're here this evening, on this evening, a few days before the christmas holiday, there are those tonight who are desperately trying to debt their hands on this
material and they are determined to do it. and the fact that we would not take advantage of this moment with a treaty as well thought out, as supported by as broad a cross section of experts and our nation to run the risk that we would allow those who seek to do great harm to us, to gain access to these weapons because we failed to move, and i fear that if we don't, and my colleagues know what could happen after january 6, the place changes. and whether or not the votes will be there and i worry deeply about that, madam president. so this is more than just a question of the christmas holiday. we also know what can happen in a few weeks. our two countries have been collaborating to reduce the threat of weapons for decades and in the tradition, as i said, of those who come before us, i want to move forward. it has -- new start has bipartisan support among current and former diplomatic leadership. some of the finest minds that
have ever negotiated these issues have begged us and urge us to support this agreement. i mention them again, if you go back to the former secretaries of state, madeliene albright, james baker, warren christopher, collin powell, rice and george schultz. that goes back over the last generation or more of our diplomats. and secretaries of defense, harold brown, hank carlucci, jim schlesinger. i say, again, to my colleagues, these people studied this, know these issues, have dealt with them in the past. and to his great credit, president george h.w. bush who noactd the start treaty -- negotiated the start treaty in 1981 has urged us to dot same. it is not in -- to do the same. it is not insignificant that this body should ignore it. not every day do we have the
chance to avert armageddon. nothing short of that is at stake in my view. it is worthy of our time, attention and our vote even at this time of year. in fact, one might make the case, what better time of year than to make this case than in this holiday season where we talk about peace in the world to all men of goodwill. and so, madam president, i urge my colleagues to take whatever time we have to in these next few days to cast a vote and leave a legacy to our children, grandchildren, and others, that in a tough time in our country when we couldn't come to an agreement on much, that on this issue, the one that transcends all of politics, transcends all of ideology, that when we can come together as others have to urge us to support this effort that we do the same in this chamber in the coming days. i thank my colleagues for their work.
i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from massachusetts. mr. kerry: i know the senator from illinois is about to be recognized and i won't be long. i just want to take a moment. these are the waning days. senator dodd's going to be leaving the senate and i don't know if he will be speaking in the next days on many of these issues that may be before the senate, but this may well be his last substantive speech before the senate. i just want to thank him. i have sat next to senator dodd for 25 years and his counsel and his wisdom and his eloquence, which we just heard, are just indispensable. so i -- he knows how i feel about him and about his leaving, but i want to thank him for his unfailing commitment to work for the disadvantaged in the world, for other countries, for our global relationships an especially for his -- and especially for his peace.
i thank him for his comments. the presiding officer: the senator from arizona. mr. mccain: i would also like to share my words of appreciation to the senator from connecticut. i'm just not so sure that's his last speech. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from illinois. mr. kirk: madam president, this has been an important week for me, the most junior senator. we passed bipartisan legislation to prevent a huge scheduled tax increase from hitting the illinois economy in the teeth of the great recession. we did this with the support of our president, president obama, who's name is on this senate desk. we stopped a $1.1 trillion omnibus bill with 6,600 earmarks which is a big victory for restraint on spending. and we stopped a house effort this morning to permit tbawb terrorists -- guantanamo bay terrorists from being
transferred to the heartland, likely thompson, illinois. the revised bill prohibits such a transfer. and now to the issue at hand. madam president, i rise in support of this amendment. in my view the underlying assumptions of the 20th century's cold war are breaking down. under the old doctrine of mutual assured destruction, we assume the soviet leadership did not want to commit suicide and neither did we. in the balance of terror, defenses against attack were ignored. banned even under an outdated treaty. because the assumptions were relatively sound. these asudgeses are breaking -- assumptions are breaking down in the 21st century. we face a future in which nations will have nuclear weapons and the missles to deliver them. recall that nuclear technology
is 1930's era engineering. missle technology is 1960 era engineering. since the laws of physics can't belaified, it is only a matter of time before other countries, including enemies of the united states, will develop such weapons. the difference between the 20th and 21st centuries can be described as a difference between capability and intent. in the 20th century the united states was fairly assured that the soviet union lacked the intent to attack america or her friends. in the 21st century iran and possibly other countries now regularly demonstrate the intent to carry out an attack. of the roughly 150 members of the united nations, only one, iran, regularly talks with its
head of state about wiping another member of the united nations off the planet. in such an environment, the assumptions of our security in the 20th century become dangerously out of date. if the u.s. and our allies face a future in which america faces countries or institutions which have the capability and intent to attack, then the old doctrine of mutual assured destruction and agreements that depend on this doctrine grant us no safety. in the 21st century, we need actual defenses to secure america and our allies against the growing danger of iran th the, -- the safety of america and israeli families depend on missle defenses. we know iran has shorter-range scud missles used liberally
against iraq in a previous war. we know iran has north korean no-dog missles called shab-3 missles in -- that have a longer rage to reach israel. we know that iran has launched a satellite into orbit using a very long-range missle called the safir. if iran can orbit a satellite over anywhere on the earth, it can deorbit a warhead anywhere too. we know iran has thousands of uranium cascades operating to refine uranium. we know that the reactor has been fueled and will soon begin the production of plutonium in iran. the greatest emerging threat to the u.s. and israel is iran and its missle production. linked with the other speeches
of iran's own head of state, the future security of american and israeli families depends on missle defense. i worry about the administration's missle defense intentions. early in the administration's term, it slowed down the planned upgrade for the missle defenses of the united states itself. it made plans to cut funding for the u.s.-israel arrow-3 missle defense system. when i heard about those cuts, i approached the late jack murtha, the chairman of the house appropriations committee to stop that move and i understand chairman murtha did exactly that. the administration canceled plans to put an exband radar in the czech republic and ground-based interceptors in poland. it even continued to offer to
include russians inside the missle defenses of nato. russia is a country that recently attacked georgia with missles. russia fueled the reactor in iran. it may have also delivered air defense radars to iran, a nation that presidents carter, reagan, bush, clinton, bush, and obama have all certified as a state-sponsor of terror. the actions of the administration on missle defense appear uncertain. under this treaty we appear to be confirming that a russian wish be preserved that they continue to have the capability to effectively attack the united states. i would regard this sentiment as far -- part of the last century and not this. and i'm worried about the new threat from iran much more than
the old threat from russia. it should be the policy of the united states to blunt or defeat any attack from iran against the united states or israel. no matter. what the statement in the preamble of this treaty should be deleted 0 so that -- so that we give strong senate direction to our policy of providing the strongest defenses possible against the growing danger of iran. i'm currently confused as to which cabinet department is preeminent on this issue. the state department largely negotiated the preamble generating pressure for the united states to recognize -- quote -- "undermining the viability and effectiveness of strategic offensive arms of the parties." in plain english we would run our defense programs to preserve the ability of russia to